|By Dennis Grubaugh, The Telegraph, Alton, Ill.|
"This incident is currently under investigation. The victim was defrauded after (someone) mailed a letter to the victim. The letter informed the victim he had won
The letter instructed the man to contact Publishers Clearing House. He contacted the telephone number provided and was instructed to mail a check to cover insurance for the prize. The victim sent a check for a little less than
Investigators said they believe the source of the scam was from outside the area, possibly outside the country, as most such scams are.
"Usually they involve people out of the country, setting us up," Dimitroff said. "The main message I'm trying to get out is you're not going to win a prize, and (legitimate) companies don't require payment up front if you do."
A sheriff's detective recently compiled a letter regarding scams, which can be broken down into a few basic categories.
– Telemarketing fraud, which occurs when a person sends money to people they do not know personally or give personal or financial information to unknown callers.
– The Nigerian Letter or "419" Fraud scam, which combines impersonation fraud with a variation of an advance fee scheme. A letter or email purportedly originating from
– The Advance Fee Scheme occurs when the victim pays money to someone in anticipation of receiving something of greater value, such as a loan, contract, investment, or gift, and then receives little or nothing in return. These may involve the sale of products or services, the offering of investments, lottery winnings, "found money" or many other "opportunities."
– Impersonation/identity fraud occurs when someone assumes your identity to perform a fraud or other criminal act. Criminals can get the information from a variety of sources, such as theft of a wallet, trash, or credit or bank information. They may approach you in person, by telephone or on the Internet. A common form of this is the jury duty scam, in which you are contacted about why you didn't show up for jury duty and encouraged to give out personal information.
Anyone with information about any kind of scam is asked to call the
Tips to avoid financial scams
– Do not believe the promise of large sums of money for your cooperation.
– Guard your account information.
– Never discard ATM receipts, credit statements, credit cards or bank statements in a usable form.
– Never give your credit card number over the telephone unless you make the call.
– Reconcile your bank account monthly and notify your bank of discrepancies immediately.
– Keep a list of telephone numbers to report loss or theft of your wallet, credit cards, etc.
– Report unauthorized financial transactions to banks and police.
– Review a copy of your credit report at least once each year. Notify the credit bureau in writing of any questionable entries.
– If your identity has been assumed, ask the credit bureau to print a statement to that effect in your credit report.
(c)2012 The Telegraph (Alton, Ill.)
Visit The Telegraph (Alton, Ill.) at www.thetelegraph.com
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|Source:||McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|